John Grant, after Thomas H. Jones, Royal Horse Artillery, 1843, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.    

 

In this brightly coloured 1843 print, based on an image by the artist Thomas H. Jones, Severndroog rises up on Shooter’s Hill, visible behind the distinctive architecture of Woolwich's Royal Military Academy. The foreground of the print shows soldiers of the Royal Horse Artillery completing cavalry and artillery exercises on Woolwich Common. Severndroog itself was connected with the military in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. From the 1780s onwards, the castle’s great height and visibility prompted its use in a series of groundbreaking attempts to accurately map Britain with theodolites (rotating telescopes that could be used to measure angles and distances between geographical landmarks). In 1791, with a war with France looming and the need for accurate maps in case of a French invasion becoming increasingly urgent, the mapping survey came under military direction. In 1822, soldiers positioned a theodolite on Severndroog’s roof to take measurements. Severndroog was used for a further mapping exercise in 1848 and the Royal Military Academy used the castle for practice surveys for some time afterwards.

 

Detail of John Grant, after Thomas H. Jones, Royal Horse Artillery, 1843, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

 

Severndroog also appears in the far distance in a similar military print attributed to Jones. It shows a bustling crowd of Victorian spectators watching soldiers fire artillery on Woolwich Common.

 

 Charles Hunt, after Thomas H. Jones, Mortar Battery at Woolwich, nineteenth century, Yale Centre for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

 

Detail of Charles Hunt, after Thomas H. Jones, Mortar Battery at Woolwich, nineteenth century, Yale Centre for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

 

  

 

 

 

John Grant, after Thomas H. Jones, Royal Horse Artillery ​(1843)